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Beires (Municipality, Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2015-08-21 by ivan sache
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Flag of Beires - Image from the Símbolos de Almería website, 9 May 2014

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Presentation of Beires

The municipality of Beires (132 inhabitants in 2008; 3,900 ha; unofficial website) is located in the Alpujarra mountains, 55 km north-west of Almería.

According to the inventory made by Blas de Orantes on 19 January 1574, Beires was inhabited before the Alpujarra Wars by 140 Moriscos and 8 Christians; the hamlet of Bogaraia had 50 inhabitants, all Moriscos. The Moriscos operated three bread ovens, four olive oil mills and five grain mills; the clark De Morales owned another grain mill. The villagers grown c. 60 ha of crops irrigated by sources and aquaducts and c. 230 ha, non-irrigated, planted with 550 olive trees, 43,000 grapevines and 352 mulberry trees yielding some 30 tons of leaves allowing the production of 88 ounces of silk. A few old forges were supplied with iron extracted from a neighbouring mine. The re-settlement was planned for 40 colonists (in addition to the seven Christian vilagers who had survived the wars), to which the plots were allocated by a lottery. Each plot included a house, 1.2 ha of irrigated land, 3.6 ha of non-irrigated land, 10 olive trees, 750 grapevines, and mulberry leaves required to start rearing silkworms. In 1593, Jorge de Baeza y Haro recorded 32 villagers and 26 houses suitable for living. The villagers had 34 animals used for ploughing, another 20 used for transport, 100 goats and 20 hunting rifles. They complained of huge injustice. In 1752, Beires had 113 houses and two hamlets. The only shop in the village sold tobacco. There were in the village a doctor, a letter writer, a barber, a blacksmith, 70 day workers, a priest and a sexton. This evolution is representative of the situation of the Morisco villages in the Alpujarra mountains, which usually needed two centuries to re-emerge after the unfortunate expelling of the Moriscos.

Ivan Sache, 19 July 2009

Symbols of Beires

The flag and arms of Beires (photos), approved on 10 June 2005 by the Municipal Council and submitted on 8 July 2005 to the Directorate General of Local Administration, are prescribed by a Decree adopted on 20 July 2005 by the Directorate General of Local Administration and published on 2 August 2005 in the official gazette of Andalusia, No. 149, p. 56 (text).
The symbols are described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular panel, in length once and a half the hoist, divided in the middle per bend, green in the upper part and golden yellow in the lower part. In the middle of the flag is placed the municipal coat of arms outlined in red.
Coat of arms: Vert, a bridge or masoned sable supported by two truncated mounds or and surmounted by a shovel and a hammer of the same crossed per saltire, all over a terrace or charged with a laurel vert. The shield surmounted with a Royal crown closed.

The bridge unites the two settlements forming the municipality, Beires and El Zabrón. The tools recall past iron mining. The laurel is among the most common shrubs in the area.
[Símbolos de las Entidades Locales de Andalucía. Almería (PDF file)]

Ivan Sache, 19 July 2009